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Scientific Study 2

Date : October 17, 2009, 12:00 am

The Ecstasy and Memory Connection
A study done by Thelma Schilt, M.Sc., from the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands found that even the use of small amounts of ecstasy could result in impaired memory, especially verbal memory. Schilt worked with 188 young volunteers, who were on average in their early twenties. These individuals had never used ecstasy but expressed that the likelihood that they would in the future was high.

Schilt evaluated these individuals and then again three years later. She found that 58 of them had starting taking ecstasy. She then compared this group of 58 with 60 persons who scored the same on intelligence tests, were the same sex and age. This was the control group. None of these individuals had used ecstasy since their last evaluation.

She then tested both groups on memory function, particularly their ability to memorize visual images and verbal memory for language and words. Schilt did this twice, once at the very beginning of the study and once at the conclusion. The verbal memory test involved each person memorizing 15 words. They would be asked to repeat those words immediately, wait 20 minutes and then repeat them again.

She found that those who had used ecstasy had lower scores in verbal recognition and recall. These differences were pretty significant. However, the scores of the test for visual memory were basically the same for each group. The biggest deficiencies that ecstasy users had where in verbal recognition and recall, though not visual memory. The latter scores were not significantly different.

Schilt also did not find any evidence that the effects of ecstasy use as it concerned memory, where different in men and women. This is a departure from other studies which have suggested that there is a difference in how ecstasy affects the memory of men and women. Schilt concluded that based on her research, ecstasy was a neurotoxin which negatively affects an individuals verbal memory function.

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